Here’s a rare bit of good news from our criminal (in)justice system. The state of New Hampshire, after taking bids from several companies to take over their prison system, has rejected all of those proposals on the grounds that they were unable to provide the level of care necessary for inmates.
The state announced yesterday that it has dropped its bid to privatize the state’s prisons because none of the four companies that wanted the job showed they could meet court-ordered requirements for inmate care.
The private prison companies also proposed wages and benefits that are half what security staff at the prisons earn now, according to two reports on the bids released yesterday by the state Department of Administrative Services and Department of Corrections.
“The proposals exhibited a lack of understanding of the overarching legal requirements placed upon the (corrections department) relating to the court orders, consent decrees and settlements which, in large part, dictate the administration and operation of their correctional facilities and attendant services to the inmate populations,” read the report. It concluded that meeting those requirements for inmates’ medical and mental health care “appeared to be too great a burden for the vendors.”
It looks like this idea is likely dead in New Hampshire for the foreseeable future. The governor opposes it and the state House recently passed a bill prohibiting such privatization. This is a very good thing.